Renting A Car in the Last Frontier State: The Ultimate Guide

Alaska is known for its rugged mountains, breathtaking natural beauty, and abundant wildlife. Those alone make it a bucket list destination for travelers around the world. As the largest state in the country, navigating the Last Frontier can be tricky for even the most seasoned adventurers. Renting a car is essential for making the most of your trip to Alaska.

In this comprehensive guide to renting a car in Alaska, we explore everything you need to know before your visit. With over 60 years of experience in Alaskan car rentals, we have heard just about every question imaginable. So today, we’re covering it all.

By the time you finish reading, you will have everything you need to explore Alaska by rental car with confidence. We will discuss tips on how to save money renting a car and the best time to visit Anchorage. So, stay tuned to learn all about renting a car in the Last Frontier State. Now, let’s talk logistics.

How to Get Around Anchorage, AK

If it is your first time exploring the Last Frontier state, we recommend starting with Anchorage. Whether you’re traveling to Alaska with family or living it up on a solo adventure, Anchorage offers plenty to do and see for every type of traveler.

As Alaska’s largest and most populous city, Anchorage combines the otherworldly beauty Alaska is known for with all the comforts of home. With that said, Anchorage is extremely accessible. If you’re traveling to Anchorage by plane, there’s no need to worry about whether you will have transportation options.

From the Anchorage Trolley Tours to the Alaska Railroad to helicopter tours, there are several ways to explore this popular city. However, if you want the freedom to explore Alaska the way you want, traveling by car is the best way to go. Not only are there many must-see destinations that are only accessible by car, but opting for a rental car provides you with the freedom and reliability that other transportation methods do not.

Why Travel Alaska By Car?

Renting a car in Alaska is the easiest and most affordable way to see the full spectrum of beauty that this scenic state holds. The Last Frontier is home to many hidden gems that you can’t access by public transportation, which means your journey would only go as far as the train or People Mover allows.

Rental cars also provide travelers with a level of flexibility that just is not possible with public transit. You will never have to worry about rushing to catch the bus or having to leave a hotspot before you’re ready. With a rental car, you can experience the rugged landscapes at your leisure, with the freedom to linger and soak it all up.

Many of our customers ask us ‘is renting a car in Alaska more expensive than taking the train?’ and every time we are pleased to tell them that no, it is not. Traveling in Alaska by train is not cheap, especially for large groups, and takes significantly longer to reach your destinations. Not only that, but traveling by train also means you would need to find secondary transportation upon arrival—either by taxi, bus, or traveling on foot—making a rental car the easier and more budget-friendly option.

Things To Know About Renting a Car in Anchorage, AK

As you can imagine, driving around Anchorage (or anywhere in Alaska, for that matter), is quite different than driving in the continental United States. To make things easier and prevent a culture shock, here are some tips for exploring Alaska by car:

  • Watch for wildlife. Much of the Alaskan landscape is undeveloped and untouched. Therefore, you will likely be sharing the roads with a variety of wildlife. Bears and moose can be found roaming near Alaskan roadways, so stay vigilant as you take in the beauty of your surroundings.
  • Take the road less traveled. Alaska is teeming with nooks and crannies that are worth checking out. Therefore, we encourage you to take full advantage of the freedom your rental car provides and travel off the beaten path. Spend a day exploring one of the many must-see small towns that are located just a short distance from the highway. During your adventures, keep in mind that most Alaska car rental agencies require that rental cars be driven only on paved surfaces.
  • Take your time. Whenever you’re driving somewhere unfamiliar, it’s important to take your time. The terrain will likely be different from what you’re used to, but highway construction, camping on the sides of the roadway, and fishermen are all commonalities in Alaska.
  • Prepare for a long ride. Alaska is a massive state (think: three times the size of Texas) with sights that are incredibly spread out. So, prepare yourself for longer-than-usual car rides and appreciate the journey. We recommend packing snacks, filling up on gas first, and downloading your favorite road tunes.
  • Pack a map. Most of the tourists that visit Alaska keep a map with them, and for good reason! While cell phone coverage is fairly dependable throughout major towns and cities, it can become spotty in the more remote areas.

How to Save Money on Your Car Rentals in Alaska

As with anywhere, renting a car for an extended period can become costly if you don’t adequately prepare. Whether you’re renting a car for the long haul or simply looking to cut costs for a day or two of your trip to Alaska, here are some ways to save money on your Alaskan car rental:

  • Visit during the off-season. Planning a trip to Alaska in May or September will cost far less than it would in the middle of peak season (summer and/or winter).
  • Reserve in advance. Rental car rates tend to increase as you grow closer to your travel date, especially during peak season. Therefore, booking your rentals in advance is much more affordable than booking the week or day of.
  • Check back frequently. Most Alaska car rental company prices fluctuate throughout the day. Therefore, if something is out of your price range in the morning, check back later that afternoon—the price very well may have dropped. 
  • Don’t rent at the airport. You can often avoid airport surcharge fees by renting directly from the websites of local agencies, so make sure to do your research before the trip.

Best Things To Do in Anchorage, AK

Now that you have learned more about renting a car in Alaska, it’s time to for the exciting part—planning your Anchorage travel itinerary! Need some help? Here are some of the best things to do in Anchorage for families and solo travelers alike:

  1. Visit the glaciers. No trip to Alaska would be complete without seeing these natural wonders for yourself. Portage Glacier, one of Alaska’s most popular attractions, is accessible to all and is located just a short drive away from Anchorage.
  2. See the Northern Lights. If you visit between September and April, you can catch a glimpse of the iconic Northern Lights. Looking for a place to watch from? Eklutna Tailrace, Girdwood, and the Knik River area are all terrific options just outside of Anchorage.
  3. Bask in the midnight sun. From late March to late September, Anchorage has more daylight than anywhere else in the United States. That means plenty of time to hop in the car for an evening hike or bike ride with the kids.
  4. Visit national parks. Alaska is home to some of the most iconic national parks in the country. As the gateway to Alaska adventure, Anchorage is just a short drive away from Denali National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park.
  5. Browse the local art scene. There’s no denying that Anchorage knows how to put on a show. Alaska’s most populated city is full of art galleries, concert venues, and creative displays that are well worth a visit. While the downtown area is fairly walkable, keep in mind it can get quite chilly during the winter months.
  6. Go flightseeing. Anchorage offers tons of flightseeing tours to destinations that will take your breath away. Given that Alaska has the highest aviation rates in the country, it is no surprise there are many commercial flying services ready to fly you to those once-in-a-lifetime places.
  7. Try kayaking or paddleboarding. Eklutna Lake is great for exploring via kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard, and is located just a short drive from downtown Anchorage. For those who want to stay on land, Eklutna Lake also has fantastic options for biking and hiking.
  8. Go dog sledding. Anchorage is the perfect destination for crossing that dog sled adventure off your bucket list. While dog sledding peaks in the winter, summer dog sledding is available for those willing to head north to find snow.
  9. Visit the gardens. Anchorage flourishes in the summertime, and we mean that in the most literal sense. The “City of Lights and Flowers” is home to 80,000 flowers in 460 flower beds. To check out some eye-catching flora and fauna, Town Square Park and the Log Cabin Visitor Information Center are two of the local favorites.

Best Time To Visit Anchorage, AK

While there are perks to visiting Anchorage year-round, the best time to visit Anchorage really depends on your personal preference. To decide when to plan your trip, here’s a glimpse of what to expect during each season in Alaska.

  • Spring: In Alaska, spotting grey whales is often the first sign of spring. So, if you’re interested in embarking on a whale-watching cruise, spring is the perfect time to visit.
  • Summer: Because the sun rarely sets during the summer months, this time of year is ideal for outdoor adventures like fishing, kayaking, hiking, and biking.
  • Autumn: If you hope to see the Northern lights, then plan to visit Anchorage during the fall months. Hiking and biking are still enjoyable, and you can often find deals on accommodations and airfare.
  • Winter: If you’re a ski bum, then winter in Anchorage is your season. Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s premier ski resort and it’s right outside of Anchorage. The Arctic Valley and Hilltop ski areas are also located nearby.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

Still have a few unanswered questions about renting a car in Alaska? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we are asked at Avis Alaska.

Can you Uber in Alaska?

Uber and Lyft recently made their way onto Alaskan roads. However, these rideshare services are not available everywhere. Before embarking on your trip to Alaska, it is always a good idea to research whether rideshares are readily available in the city you plan on traveling to.

Is it difficult to rent a car in Alaska?

Contrary to what some might believe, it is not at all difficult to rent a car in Alaska. Because most tourists arrive by airplane, there are plenty of rental car companies available. All you have to do is choose the one that best suits your travel needs.

Can you rent one-way cars in Alaska?

If you’re planning a one-way road trip in Alaska, you can rent a one-way car from most agencies. Many of the local rental agencies have offices in all major cities. This means you can rent a car in Anchorage and drop it off in Fairbanks (for example). Just keep in mind this is often a more expensive option.

How are the highways in Alaska?

Just like in the lower 48 states, the highways in Alaska are well-maintained and very drivable. However, be mindful that speed limit is typically around 55 miles per hour or less. Similar to other states, highway construction occurs seasonally, but it is manageable as long as you are cautious on the road.

Renting A Car in Anchorage, AK

Anchorage holds a high-ranking spot on the bucket lists of adventurers from all over for many reasons. Whether you’re planning to summit Denali, bask in the midnight sun, or enjoy mouthwatering local cuisine, Anchorage has something for every traveler.

No matter what your trip holds, renting a car is the best way to ensure that it goes smoothly. Experience the icy blue glaciers and arctic plains in all their glory by traveling with a reliable and affordable rental. With all the amazing things to do in Alaska, don’t underestimate having dependable transportation to get you around. For more advice on renting a car in Alaska (including where to go and what to do), contact our team at Avis Alaska. We look forward to welcoming you to the Last Frontier and can’t wait to help make your journey one you will treasure for a lifetime.

What to Do in Your Alaska Winter Car Rentals During an Earthquake

With the number of earthquakes in recent years, we decided it might be best to help out our Alaska winter car rentals clients. If you don’t come from a place that is earthquake-prone, the thought of tremors can be nerve-wracking. However, not all earthquakes cause damage and those that do, don’t have to be fatal. In fact, some quakes are quite small. You may not even feel them!

But in the event of a larger quake, it is important to know what to do. Have an action plan, and make sure everyone you’re traveling with knows about it. Whether you’re out and about in your Alaska winter car rentals or just having a relaxing night in, here’s how to behave during an earthquake.

When driving your Alaska winter car rentals

It’s not uncommon for motorists to miss earthquakes. They’re often so subtle that the movement of the vehicle disguises it.

However, if you do feel an earthquake while driving, the first thing you need to do is stop the vehicle. Pull over into a safe area as fast as possible – this may even just be the side of the highway.

It’s important to remember to watch for power lines, bridges, and any other structures that could potentially fall in a quake. Avoid parking near these. If possible, a wide open space is best.

Finally, stay in your Alaska winter car rentals. Don’t get out of the car during the quake for any reason. Turn on the radio to wait for updates on the quake. And when the quake is finally finished, make sure to be careful of aftershocks – you may even want to wait 10 minutes before driving off again.

If in the great outdoors

If you’re out and about on foot when an earthquake strikes, the action plan is much similar to that of driving. Stay still, and avoid being close to any structures that could fall or collapse. This includes buildings and trees, as well. Remember that being near a building is your most dangerous spot, even in the exits. So stay in the open and wait until the quake is over.

If indoors

If you’re inside when the earthquake strikes, there are a few things you can do to make sure you and your family stay safe. While most people have heard the old tale about staying in doorways, this isn’t necessarily true anymore. For older houses, perhaps it may still be your best bet. But newer houses are built stronger than they used to be, and the rest of the house is often just as safe as a doorway.

What to avoid: lighting fixtures, furniture that could fall, glass, windows, outside doors, walls, and elevators. Never use an elevator in an earthquake.

If you’re already in bed, it’s best to stay there unless there’s a heavy lighting fixture overhead that could drop. Otherwise, stay in bed, and keep a pillow over your head for protection.

If you’re not in bed, take cover under a sturdy table, desk, or other furniture that is unlikely to collapse. This will keep you safe from falling debris. Stay in your safe spot until the quake finishes.

If you don’t have a sturdy piece of furniture nearby, then your next safe spot is an inside corner. Crouch in here and cover your head.

Remember that it’s always best to stay still during a quake. Don’t move about unless absolutely necessary and always protect your head. Be prepared for aftershocks.

Finally, make sure to clean up any chemicals or hazardous materials that may have spilled during the quake. It’s good to do a once over in the building following a quake.

For safe, reliable vehicles that can transport you through the state without a care, reserve your Alaska winter car rentals from Avis today.

See Alaska’s Glaciers in Your Alaska Winter Car Rentals

Anyone who has been around the state in their Alaska winter car rentals knows that the Alaskan landscape is absolutely incredible. It has a haunting kind of beauty that stays with you for life, even long after you’ve left.

The glaciers, undeniably, are a major contributor to that everlasting feeling of beauty. If you’ve never seen a glacier before, you’re in for a treat. You’ll never forget the first time you view one, and chances are, you’ll want to go back for more.

But how can you see Alaska’s glaciers? By foot, by Alaska winter car rentals, or by boat! The way you choose to get there is entirely up to you and your preferences, but there are plenty of options. You can go solo or in a guided tour, of which there are plenty. Here are just a few.

See the glaciers from the air

Seeing the glaciers by air offers a truly unique experience. While you won’t be able to get up close and personal with the calving, you’ll get a better idea of the sheer size of these edifices. The glaciers are, after all, enormous. And seeing them by foot or boat doesn’t quite offer the same indication of their size.

Piedmont glaciers are the best ones to see by air. These can be found in Southeast Alaska and offer a fan-like spray of rock and ice across the base of the mountain range. By plane, you’ll be able to see the full extent of the formation.

By land

While you certainly can’t take your Alaska winter car rentals up on the glaciers, you can still see them by motor on land. ATV tours offer you the chance to glide over the glaciers and to see them intimately.

Of course, you can also hike the glaciers as well. You’ll never see anything quite like them or have a hike that is nearly as beautiful. Make sure to bundle up and bring a guide. It’s best to never hike the glaciers alone. But since you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, guided hiking tours are really your best bet for seeing the ice caves and glaciers.

By water

One of our favorite ways to see the glaciers is by water. There are several cruise options that go along the shoreline to let passengers see tidewater glaciers. You’ll be able to actually witness as parts of the glacier break off and drift into the ocean. The cracking of the glacier is loud enough to hear and is a sound that you’ll definitely remember forever.

Another benefit of seeing the glacier by kayak or cruise is the number of marine animals you’ll catch sight of. Sea otters, harbor seals, marine birds, even a whale or two if you’re lucky! These beautiful creatures truly round out the trip.

Combining Alaskan favorites

If you want to take part in one of Alaska’s traditional pastimes when seeing the glaciers, then the dogsled tour is the one for you. However, you’ll have to wait until the spring for this one. The dogsled tour only runs in the summer. But it’s worth the wait! And you may want to book early. You’ll often have a chance to see moose, Dall sheep, black bears, and mountain goats while sledding up to see Colony Glacier.

As mentioned, it’s best to book ahead. There is a range of tour options, and with early booking you’ll have the full range to choose from on your specified dates. This definitely isn’t one you’ll want to miss!

Book your Alaska winter car rentals from Avis today to ensure you have transportation when you want to see our great state’s glaciers!

Take Your Alaska SUV Rentals to See the Northern Lights!

Alaska is known for stunning views – but not just on land. The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, offer a spectacular light show to anyone willing to stay up to watch it. While the best times are in September and March, you will still be able to take your Alaska SUV rentals out to see the lights.

If you don’t want to go on a random chase, then guided tours to the lights may be your best bet. However, you’ll want to bundle up and bring along a little energy! This certainly isn’t a day trip.

When to see the lights

As mentioned, September and March are the best months. This is because the Earth is tilted at just the right angle in relation to the Sun to make the lights clearer and stronger. However, you’ll still get a chance to see them during other months of the winter, from mid-September to late April.

The best nights to take your Alaska SUV rentals are those with clear skies. Aim for between 10 pm and 2 am, as around midnight is the best time to see the lights. Like we said – you’ll want to bring some energizer with you!

On an inland plain or mountaintop will suit best. You want to avoid light pollution when hunting for the Northern Lights. This includes light from the moon. Odd as it may seem, overly bright light from the moon can wash out the Northern Lights to the point where you will barely be able to see them.

It’s best to go a minimum of a week before or after the full moon, and certainly not during the days the moon is at its fullest.

Where to see the Aurora

The further north you go, the easier it will be to see the lights. The best latitude for Aurora Borealis viewings is between 65° north and 70° north. Head to remote northern regions to get the best experience. In fact, you may even want to cross the border into Canada. Coldfoot in Yukon Territory will offer stunning views of the lights and landscape.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to get out of urban areas. Even the smaller towns and villages of Alaska have some light pollution, and leaving their outer limits will allow you the most promising view of the lights.

If you want to stay in America, you can see the lights near Fairbanks, Barrow, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. While other places will offer you glimpses of the light show, these regions will provide the most likely clear view. They also offer the benefit of plenty of daytime activities to enjoy! Glaciers, rafting, fishing, hiking, tours of historic places, and more are on offer in these towns.

Take a Guided Tour

If you’d rather not take your Alaska SUV rentals out by yourself to find the lights, there are tours you can join. Which one you join will depend on your own preference. But there are plenty on offer that span from just a single day to several days and include other opportunities like a dip in Chena Hot Springs. Here is a good place to look at which tour might be best for you.

What to bring

It’s important that you bundle up and bring extra blankets in your Alaska SUV rentals. Alaska gets cold in the winter, and sitting for long periods of time waiting for the lights can get mighty chilly. Bring extra blankets to bundle under, and even a heating candle if you want extra assurance. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to bring along some cocoa and broth in thermoses!

No Northern Light trip is complete without the perfect Alaska SUV rentals. Reserve yours from Avis today.

Experience a Uniquely Alaskan Thanksgiving

The holiday season is here! It’s one of the best times of the year in Alaska. Between the hunts, the snow sports, the stunning vistas, and now – getting to enjoy all of this with good holiday food and family! There’s plenty going on across the state for Thanksgiving, and after that, Christmas. All you need is your Alaska car rentals and you’ll be set!

Great Alaska Shootout

What are the holidays without a little sport? Of course, most people will be watching football but there’s also the Great Alaska Shootout which is always worth it to see. The Shootout is hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage over Thanksgiving week. The week is all about showing off college basketball stars, as they compete with one another in one of America’s longest-running college basketball tournaments.

And like most college sports, the energy is always high! It’s a great atmosphere and some amazing athletics will be shown off.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Tree Lighting Ceremony is a tradition that many American towns have. It’s always a beautiful, magical night that can get the whole family interested. This year, the Anchorage Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Friday, November 25 in Town Square Park.

Make sure to back plenty of blankets in your Alaska car rentals, though! It might be a chilly one. And hot cocoa never hurts! Kids will also love to see Santa and his reindeer there to celebrate the ceremony.

Reserve a table

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, it can be nice to take a break from chores for the holidays. Why not reserve a table for a restaurant Thanksgiving instead of cooking? There are plenty of places across Anchorage that are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll definitely want to make reservations though!

Some of these include Anchorage Marriott Downtown, Embassy Suites, Hotel Captain Cook, Sheraton Anchorage, Lakefront Anchorage, and Westmark Anchorage. Grab a couple of Alaska car rentals and the whole family, and give everyone a break for the holidays!

Uniquely Alaskan Thanksgiving

If you will be making your Thanksgiving dinner, why not have it in a uniquely Alaskan way? While many Alaskans do still celebrate with turkey, many others choose another bird for the day. Because of populous wildlife, Alaskans have options for their meal. Ptarmigan and goose, for instance, are popular choices for Thanksgiving and holiday dinners.

Similarly, Alaskans also include things like octopus, reindeer, whale, moose, and even salmon! Nigliq (a white fronted goose found in Alaska) soup is another interesting dish that goes nicely with turkey. It’s quite delicious and makes a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

But what would Thanksgiving be without the cranberry sauce! Don’t settle for store-bought canned cranberries. Alaska produces some of the best high bush cranberries in the country. We’re proud of our berries, and wouldn’t want anyone to experience an Alaskan Thanksgiving without them!

If you can’t find berries in the markets, you may still be able to pick them. They can be found until early fall, so if you’re swift there may be some on the trees still. Fresh and delicious!

Always something to do

In Alaska, there’s always something to keep you and the family entertained. After all, the winter months are great for sport and activity in Alaska! As long as you have your Alaska car rentals, the opportunities are endless. Get out and about to ski! Or maybe you want to give dog sledding a try. Either way, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reconnect with your loved ones and take some time to relax and enjoy yourself.

Avoid stress! Reserve your Alaska car rentals early to beat the crowd.

Start Gift Shopping Early at Alaska Christmas Markets

Christmas markets and festivals begin early in Alaska. The first weekend of November alone has five festivals, four of which are just Christmas! It’s a wonderful time of year. You can begin Christmas shopping early in the markets, and get right into the spirit of the season. But be careful – you may end up filling your winter Alaska SUV rentals to the brim!

First week of November

As mentioned, Christmas markets begin the first weekend of November. With your winter Alaska SUV rentals, you may want to hit up many of them!

In Anchorage, enjoy the Holiday Food & Gift Festival on November 4 and 5. This takes place at Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center and features a range of handmade products and food. If you’ve got kids coming along, Santa and an elf will be there for photos. The market is open from 11 am to 5 pm and 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Also in Anchorage is the Christmas Towne Bazaar on November 4 from 10 am to 4 pm at South Anchorage High School. There are 130 booths and vendors offering everything from books by local authors and photography, to knitted goods and wood and metal crafts. Here is a perfect place to take the whole family, as there are kids’ activities to entertain the little ones.

Similarly, the Mat-Su Holiday Marketplace from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday. The market takes place at the Menard Sports Center in Wasilla. The market hosts more than 100 specialty vendors with a wide range of goods including jewelry, furs, original artwork, fleece, pottery, glassware, and many others. It’s a great place for bespoke Christmas gifts!

The Shop Til You Drop Holiday Bazaar in Chugiak on November 4 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center. You’ll definitely leave with your winter Alaska SUV rentals much fuller! You can spend the whole day there, with coffee and lunch available in the vendor. There are plenty of gifts that are great for everyone. You really can shop til you drop!

Second week of November

The fun continues into the second weekend of November starting with the Fairbanks Holiday Marketplace starts on November 10 and runs until November 12. It will be held at the Carison Center. This market is a great place to look for fashion items like shoes, earrings, and clothes. Home décor, photography, handmade soaps, and art also hold a prominent place at this market. Free parking available for your winter Alaska SUV rentals.

The Juneau Farmers and Crafters Market will be held on November 11 from 10 am until 3 pm at Glacier Highway. This is a great spot to get food for your Thanksgiving suppers and the other holiday festivities. This market boasts Juneau’s best of fresh eggs, produce, flowers, plants, herbs, teas, honey, syrup, wild local food, baked goods, jams and more. You’ll leave happy and full! Make sure to bring your grocery bags in your winter Alaska SUV rentals.

Anchorage, ever the bustling city, has two more markets this weekend: The Anchorage Holiday Craft Bazaar at Bayshore Clubhouse and The Alaskan Christmas Bazaar at Anchroage City Church. Both offer arts and crafts, but only the Alaskan Christmas Bazaar will have food for sale.

There are simply far too many markets to go through them all in detail! Other markets this month include:

  • Fairbanks Holiday Bazaar: November 18, Pioneer Park Civic Center, 10 am to 4 pm
  • Anchorage Arts and Crafts Emporium: November 18 – 19, Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm
  • Anchorage Noel Bazaar and Bake Sale: November 18, Anchorage Senior Activity Center, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Black Friday Holiday Bazaar: November 24-25, Kenai, Challenger Learning Center, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Juneau Public Market: November 24-26, Public Market in Centennial Hall, Friday noon to 7 pm and Saturday-Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Colony High School Christmas Bazaar: November 25, Palmer, Colony High School, 10 am to 5 pm

Get out there and enjoy! But don’t forget to book your winter Alaska SUV rentals early for your holiday shopping!

Winter Is Coming! Tips for Alaska Winter SUV Rentals

Winter is nearly upon us. In Alaska winter means lots of snow, ice, and, unfortunately, vehicle collisions. However, you can reduce your risk of collision by following safe driving habits in your Alaska winter SUV rentals. We’ve outlined some tips below for you to enjoy winter without harm.

Know where you’re going

In the winter, it’s more important than ever to know your route in advance. When the roads are icy, it is incredibly dangerous to have to stop or turn at the drop of a hat. Map your route. Know alternative routes, just in case of diversion.

Of course, you don’t need to memorize your route. You can still use a GPS, but having a rough idea of where you have to turn and go will help reduce the need for last minute moves.

Take time to brake

Most people know this already, but a reminder never hurts! Take time to brake. This goes back to knowing your route and paying attention to what’s around you. Brake slowly and firmly. It is dangerous to you and the vehicles around you to stop your Alaska winter SUV rentals at the last minute.

In reality, it’s best to avoid braking whenever possible. Brake only when necessary to reduce chances of collision.

Increase your following distance

Generally following distances are at around 3-4 seconds. However, in the winter with ice, snow, and other distractions it’s smart to increase this to 8-10 seconds. This also allows you time to stop if someone in front of you is forced to hit the brakes.

Always, always, always signal

It is important to communicate with other drivers when you’re on icy roads. Always, always, always use your turn signal. This includes both turning and switching lanes. It’s important to warn other drivers to your intentions. After all, you don’t know if the driver behind you may be planning on switching lanes behind you as well without signals. Be responsible, and take the steps you can to avoid collision. You can’t control the actions of other drivers, but you can make sure you are free of blame and in control of your own Alaska winter SUV rentals.

Don’t speed on hills

You may find yourself in a mountainous area of Alaska. If this is the case that’s okay! But make sure you’re overtaking the hills properly on snowy roads.

First thing is not to speed up them. Take them slow and steady. You don’t know what’s coming from the other side, and you don’t want to lose control on an incline.

Second, make sure to keep going. Don’t brake or slow down. Maintain a steady pace up the hill. The ice will reduce your traction and make sliding backwards a real possibility.

Of course, this is the same for going down hills. You want to make sure to maintain a steady pace, rather than just letting your car doing the work as you may do in the warmer months. Always try your best to be in control of your speed.

Know your speed

It’s okay to drive a little slower in the winter. Of course, you want to go with the flow of the traffic and most Alaska drivers will practice appropriate winter speeds. But if not, it’s okay to slow down and take it at a pace at which you feel comfortable.

Similarly, accelerate and decelerate with care. Slamming on the gas can be just as dangerous as slamming the brake. Slow, steady acceleration and deceleration is the key.

Finally, the best way to stay safe is with reliable, efficient Alaska winter SUV rentals. Avis can help you out with that! Reserve your Alaska winter SUV rentals today.

The Best Bed & Breakfasts Around Alaska

There are plenty of ways to see Alaska. While many people love to camp and hike across the state, this isn’t always for everyone. Alaska is a beautiful place for exploration in nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to sleep outside too. If you’re more of a comfortable bed and warm meal type traveler, then a bed and breakfast may be better for you. Of course, you can still spend the week exploring the state in your Alaska airport car rentals to see the wilderness but come home to comfort!

So where are the best B&Bs in the state? There are quite a few. And we’ve done the looking for you so you don’t have to deal with the hassle.

Upscale and natural: Bear Paw Adventure Lodge & Cabin

If you’re looking for something that offers ultimate comfort, check out the Bear Paw Adventure Lodge & Cabin. A traditional Alaskan cabin in an upscale style near Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula, you’ll get the wild landscape and the comforts of laundry, satellite, Wi-Fi, and full kitchens.

Around the Peninsula, experience supreme fishing opportunities, bear viewing, marine tours, dog sledding, horseback riding, kayaking, and hiking around the wild. If you want to escape the bustle of urban centers without going too far out of the way, this is the place for you. Right close to Homer, you can still take your Alaska airport car rentals into town for restaurants, shopping, and tours.

Turnagain View B&B

Also on the Kenai Peninsula, the Turnagain View B&B provides a great opportunity to explore the wilderness of Turnagain Arm far from the urban centers. Here, you’ll have the choice of three different suites to stay in comfort after a long day of exploring.

Close by is an old mine, Indian Valley Mine, that will help you learn about the gold-panning in Alaska. You can even try your hand at panning for gold!

And of course, it wouldn’t be a bed & breakfast without scrumptious food. The bed and breakfast offers delicious food, and even an opportunity for your kids to gather eggs from the chickens in the yard.

Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa

Located in Juneau, this offers another luxury experience in Alaska to make sure that you have a chance to relax after a full day exploring the Mendenhall Glacier. Hike around the area and kayak the rivers, between ziplining and fishing. On offer is also flightseeing and biking, as well as whale watching. You’ll be able to park your Alaska airport car rentals and enjoy the wilderness in comfort.

This is also a great venue for events and weddings. Fall is a great time to gather with loved ones, and where better place to do it then in the middle of the wilderness with great food?

Beary Patch Bed and Breakfast Inn

Situated in Homer, Alaska, Beary Patch Bed and Breakfast Inn offers delicious food surrounded by incredible views. There’s nothing like waking up to a hot pot of coffee and reindeer sausages followed by berry-nut breads! A truly Alaskan meal.

Pack your fishing equipment in your Alaska airport car rentals so you can enjoy one of the salmon or halibut fishing trips that can be arranged for you. Like many other BnBs, you’ll be able to enjoy kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling in the winter, and wild-life tours around the area. Beary Patch is right on the sea, so you’ll get the fresh, salty smells wafting across the yard to clear your head and calm you down.

Explore Alaska’s wilds and bed & breakfasts. Reserve your Alaska airport car rentals today to from Avis for a comfortable trip around the state.

Take Your Alaska Car Rentals Out to Halloween Events

You can have spooky good fun in Alaska around the Halloween season. There’s plenty going on to entertain the whole family and get you into the mood for trick or treating on October 31. With your Alaska car rentals, you can pop around and get the kids excited about the upcoming holiday.

The Ooky Spooky Light Show

Throughout October, you’ll have a chance to experience the Thomas Planetarium in Anchorage with a spooky twist. Visuals dance across a screen while classic Halloween music plays in the background to offer you a little thrill. For $6 and museum admission, you’ll have be able to have a fun little Halloween treat from Tuesday to Sunday starting at 4:30 pm.

Zombie Half Marathon and Kids Zombie 2.5k

Here’s your chance to show off your best zombie costume! Dress up in your scaries, brain-hungry zombie outfit and head to the Coastal and Chester Creek trails on October 14 to compete in the half marathon.

The race begins at 9 am from Goose Lake Park and noon for the Kids Zombie race from Kincaid Park Chalet. Price of admission in the races is $45 for members and $50 for non-members. Make sure to pack some sweaters in your Alaska car rentals – races run rain or shine!

Igor: The Butcher of Salzburg

Do you like a good bit of theatre? Head on out to TBA Theatre Studio to see Igor: The Butcher of Salzburg from October 20 to 31. Age range is recommended for those 10 years old and up, but be prepared to be spooked! The play tells the legend of the Butcher of Salzburg. It combines horror with history in a thrilling way – be sure to get goosebumps!

Kid’s Halloween Train

Take a ride from Anchorage to Indian on the Alaska railroad. Get a glimpse of the Alaskan landscape while showing your costumes, exploring your crafty side, and enjoying scrumptious treats. On-train entertainment includes a raffle, coloring contest, Halloween-themed bingo, balloon animals, magicians, and, of course, crafts!

The train runs on Saturday, October 21 and Saturday, October 28 from 10 am to 12:30 pm and 3 pm to 5:30 pm. Train tickets are $35 per kid aged 2-11 and infants with their own seat, free for infants who will be sitting on their guardian’s lap, and $69 for adults.

Haunted & Enchanted Trails of Goose Lake

On October 27, take your Alaska car rentals down to Goose Lake for a trip around the enchanted and haunted trails to get into the spirit. For those with younger children, we’d recommend the Enchanted Trail, which is for ages 3 and up and runs from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. For children 8 and up, experience the Haunted Trail. Tickets are $5 per person.

The trails are a blast. This eerie Halloween event provides an opportunity to listen to music in a great community around warming barrels with top-quality Alaskan food trucks. Make sure to dress up in your costume to get right into the spirit of the holiday!

Trick or Treat Street

On October 28, bring your Alaska car rentals out to the downtown core in Anchorage for Trick or Treat Street. This offers you an opportunity to take your kids safely trick or treating to a variety of businesses.

Other events include a run at 11 am, costume contests, horse drawn hay rides, face painting, and a chance to win prizes. Try your hand at creepy, crawly cookie decoration at the Hotel Captain Cook.

These events listed are mainly around the Anchorage area but there are plenty of events across the state. Do you know of any in your home town?

Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis to make sure you have a vehicle for the big night out!

Top “Instagramable” Spots Around Alaska

Fall has always been the perfect time for photos. To add to an already beautiful time of year, Alaska is a stunning backdrop for photography. And when you have Alaska SUV rentals, it’s easier to get to the most remote areas where some of the most beautiful photographs can be shot.

But where are these places? If you’re new to Alaska, you may be less familiar with the places across this great state that are perfect for photography. It can take some prompting and research to figure out where you’ll get the right shot for your photography shoot, or even just for Instagram. Look no further – we’ve done the work for you, and found the best places to take a gorgeous photo. All you have to do is hop into your Alaska SUV rentals and get there!

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a stunning example of nature’s overpowering ability to amaze and capture our attention. The refuge offers spectacular views of the mountains towering over coastal plains. Residents of the plains include grizzly and polar bears, wolves, moose, musk oxen, and even the largest herd of caribou in the state.

If you visit the refuge, though, expect to stay for a day or two. It’s difficult to get to, situated in the northeast corner of Alaska. There aren’t any shops or hotels in the vicinity, so you’ll be able to get a little camping in while taking your photographs. Make sure to head out before winter hits in full!

The refuge isn’t accessible via Alaska SUV rentals. You’ll need to take a chartered bush plane in, and explore the rivers and wilds from there. If you are unfamiliar with the Alaskan wild, we’d recommend hiring a guide service such as Arctic Treks or Arctic Wild.

Gates of the Arctic National Park

The Gates of the Arctic National Park is similar in many ways to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The John River offers an incredible place to take pictures in the setting sun. While you can access the park by bush plane, you may also be interested in the hike into the park from the Dalton Highway. You can park your Alaska SUV rentals in a safe place, and hike into the Brooks Range.

Good spots to see around the park include Agiak Lake or Arrigetch Peaks for incredible mountain scenes. Noatak River provides wildlife and landscapes that offer traditionally gorgeous views of Alaska.

Tongass National Forest

If you’re looking for forest views, Tongass National Forest is definitely the one you want to see. One of the best ways to get close enough to see the forest is a cruise with one of the many small-ship companies around the area. The Alaska State Ferry is another great option for more independently planned trips.

The National Forest provides plenty of opportunity for wildlife and landscape sights. Admirality Island is home to brown bears and old-growth forest with trees that are older than we can begin to comprehend. Tongass can boast about being the home of Hubbard Glacier, which is the largest tidewater glacier in North America.

In Tongass, you’ll have a chance to explore indigenous culture before setting out to glimpse whales, seabirds, and salmons abundant in the tides. You’ll still catch sight of the mountains around this beautiful park.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is well-known with and without Alaska. It’s a popular spot for tourists and residents to explore the wildlife and natural landscapes that this great state has to offer. Fortunately, this park is much easier to get to, as its accessible by Alaska SUV rentals for the first 12 miles. However, the single road that goes deep into the park requires shuttle reservations to access. There are spots to park your vehicle, but make sure to reserve a spot.

However, you can also hike in and backpack around the park. Denali is a beautiful spot for camping and hiking to see the wildlife, like Dall Sheep. Definitely don’t miss the Polychrome Pass that provides picturesque views of the Alaska Range or a view of the mountain from Wonder Lake.

Get some stunning photographs by touring around the state with your camera in your Alaska SUV rentals. Reserve from Avis today.